Speaking after the European Parliament’s Employment Committee voted to scrap the UK opt-out from the working time directive, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) David Frost said:

"As we face tougher economic times it is vitally important that employers and employees benefit from the flexibility provided by the UK’s opt-out from the working time directive.

"We want the European Parliament will vote against the Committee’s decision scrap the UK opt-out and allow employees the freedom to work longer hours when they choose to do so.

"Abolishing the opt-out will constrain businesses at a time when they are key to lifting the UK out of recession. It could mean lower earnings and lower living standards for many workers."